31 Days of Parenting Littles: Fear
You have not KNOWN fear until you see your child seriously hurt or sick. I've never been more afraid than the time Josiah took a very bad fall at 10 months old. He fell from a height of about 5 feet onto a tile floor and I was terrified. Immediately your mind jumps to the worst- he could die- his neck could be broken or there could be internal bleeding on the brain- he could DIE. He immediately started screaming which I knew was a good sign. We picked him up after giving him a quick once over to see if anything was obviously broken. I offered to nurse him but he just kept screaming. We checked his eyes for signs of concussion with pupil dilation, but his eyes were dilating normally. I just held him and prayed, shaking with adrenaline. It took about 10 minutes but he finally calmed down enough to nurse and then just wanted to sleep, which also concerned me. I thought with a fall that high onto a hard surface (head first no less) he MUST have a concussion, but he never lost consciousness, didn't throw up or have a seizure, his eyes were normal, and he did stir when I tried to rouse him after he fell asleep (I didn't want to wake him completely and start the screaming again). We were visiting another province and didn't have medical aid for him, and since he wasn't showing signs of concussion we decided not to bring him to the ER, knowing there would be expensive tests to run. I felt terrible about that decision, but just prayed and trusted that God had sent an angel to shield him. From all the signs, he was ok. It took over half an hour for me to stop shaking. I've never been so afraid.
The Next Day
The next day Josiah was fine. He had a bit of a red mark on his head where he fell, but was acting perfectly normal- even more chirpy than usual in fact. He didn't even have a bump on his head. It turned out though that that lack of bump was a bad sign rather than a good one. Over the next few days, that spot swelled a bit but was soft to the touch- obviously fluid filled. I did some internet research and found that it was a sign of skull fracture. When he initially fell I thought skull fracture was a real possibility, but when he recovered and acted completely normal I didn't think it was possible.
Then I found a lady's story about her daughter who had a similar fall, off a changing table, and who recovered exactly like Josiah did and they only noticed a soft lump several days later, just like us. They ended up going to the hospital and getting extensive testing done. In the end (after about a hundred thousand dollars worth of X rays, MRI's, etc), it was found that she did have a skull fracture but it wasn't bad enough to need surgery and there was nothing they could really do for it. They sent her home and basically just told her to be more careful. Having seen that Josiah was acting 100% normal (and actually picking up some new skills as well- improving his crawling and starting to make more babbling sounds than he had before), we decided not to take him for testing, but figured he likely did have a fracture. He's 2 years and 3 months old now and perfectly fine, despite taking MANY knocks on the head since then. He's more accident prone than any other child I know!